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Military checkpoints to protect embattled National Park

Santo Domingo.- The Environment Ministry plans to reforest nearly 1,600 hectares in Valle Nuevo National Park, in Constanza (central), which squatters had used for crops and livestock for decades, and announced military checkpoints to enforce evictions.

In the meantime Environment minister Francisco Domínguez last week announced a ban on the entry of workers, farming implement, supplies and other agriculture items into the protected area.

Quoted by listin.com.do, the official said no one will be evicted, “because those who had the land in their possession have never lived in Valle Nuevo, but in Constanza.”

“There is a plan, a chronology and an established road map that has been complied with and will be enforced,” he said.

As to the January 29 deadline for squatters to leave Valle Nuevo, Dominguez said, “there will be no seeds or workers, especially Haitian workers from Constanza who go there as day laborers.”  Environment resolution 14.2016 gave farmers and ranchers 120 days to halt all agro activities in Valle Nuevo

He said all water pipes will also be removed, and chemicals or fertilizers are also banned. “We reiterate that we aren’t going to evict anyone, we’re not going to take anyone out, but we will not allow any of what I have already mentioned: trucks, seeds, tools, or Haitian day laborers”

The official warned that the authorities will place military checkpoints on the zone’s three access roads, to materialize the plan and ensure compliance with provisions. “To monitor and prevent them from continuing to farm the area, Environment will use the Environmental Police and reinforced with members of the Armed Forces.”

Domínguez said they seek persuasion through conversation, so they don’t have to resort to the use of force to enforce the measure.

No compensation for squatters

As to demands for compensation, Dominguez said Environment doesn’t have to pay those who have been using those State lands for many years, and on the contrary, “they are the ones who have to pay the State.”

Source: DT

Jan 9, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 29, 2017 at 11:04 PM
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